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View Full Version : Who is(are) our rival(s)?



zagdontzig
12-10-2017, 07:22 AM
Asking for a friend (see poll).

gonzagafan62
12-10-2017, 07:33 AM
BYU.

TexasZagFan
12-10-2017, 07:36 AM
The problem is, we really don't have any rivals. I dislike BYU, but that goes back decades when I was living in El Paso.

For a rivalry to exist, the series doesn't necessarily have to be even, but close. Don't have that with UW, BYU, or SMC. Arizona's had the upper hand on us, but we don't play them every year.

Are there future rivalries out there? Could be with the likes of a number of Big 12 schools, as we've played a number of them over the past five years. A&M is a possibility, due to Gentry's relationships there, or Texas (Few and Shaka Smart are close friends).

We are to the WCC as Kentucky is to Vanderbilt or Ole Miss.

Bulldoginseattle
12-10-2017, 07:57 AM
Agreed with the above. BYU is the only school in the WCC that I actively dislike, but that has more to do with their historicaly difty playstyle and fan base than any sense of rivalry. No one in the conference I think I could actively consider a rival.

jazzdelmar
12-10-2017, 08:00 AM
The field.

Goshzagit
12-10-2017, 08:09 AM
WCC scheduling committee?

No, it would have to be SMC if forced to pick one. They believe it, so it must be true. Coach Randy Bennett still talks like they are cream of the crop in WCC. I like the guy, but when he speaks about their accomplishments, he believes its 'neck and neck' with Gonzaga. A bit delusional perhaps, but given that they have been picked to win the WCC 2 of the last 4 yrs, when GU has advanced to Elite 8 X2, Sweet 16, Final 4, and Nat'l Title game in that span, well, its bound to ruffle fans and players feathers.

BYU only our rival IN Spokane, where they have won the last three yrs running. Maybe the most amazing stat/accomplishment of anyone.

Arizona will be our rival in NCAA Tournament play, as we have to get past them to advance, but usually Sean Miller helps us in that case. Side note on Arizona, they just beat #7 Texas A&M and #25 Alabama the past few days. As I posted a couple wks ago, they will be fine.

That Deandre Ayton kid could score 50 on us. Scary. I cringe just watching him in warm-ups. Sheesh.

Anyway, digression aside, Zags don't really have a rival.

Jazz is right, after 19 straight, the Field is our rival. National perception once was -- pre 2015 -- but that has gone away.

It would be fun to have an annual rivalry game vs fellow Jesuit institutions, but that won't happen anytime soon...

bartruff1
12-10-2017, 08:18 AM
The field.

Sure...but BYU has won the last 3 in the Kennel......

mgadfly
12-10-2017, 08:21 AM
I don’t know why a rivalry has to be close to equal. I’ve never bought into that definition. I also don’t think you have to hate the other team for it to be a rivalry.

St. Mary’s has played us tough and has been the second best team in the WCC for nearly two decades. If you don’t get a little extra excited when we play them, if you didn’t want to beat Samhan a little more than what is healthy, I’m not sure you are a GU fan.

UW. This is where Zags get to say it isn’t a rivalry if one side only wins once a decade, but then wears their lucky underwear, carries a rabbit foot, plucks an eyelash, tosses some salt, circles around a black cat to avoid its path, knocks on wood after commenting on the game ... that’s a rivalry. Plus, historically, there is bad blood here.

Then, Arizona for west coast dominance this decade plus them kicking our rears lately and past tournament matchup.

And then maybe BYU #4 for thinking they’d dominate the WCC, for Jemmering us out of the tournament, and for dirty play.

Losing to any of those four teams hurts a little or maybe a lot more than it should. At least to me.

Zag365
12-10-2017, 10:42 AM
The field.

Exactly. Our "rivalry" is demonstrating to a skeptical national audience that we can play anyone in the field and win 80% of the time. Beating any particular opponent year-in/year-out is great, but not as emotionally satisfying as winning the conference year after year and going as deep as possible in the NCAA tourney.

LouisianaZag
12-10-2017, 10:49 AM
I don’t know why a rivalry has to be close to equal. I’ve never bought into that definition. I also don’t think you have to hate the other team for it to be a rivalry.

St. Mary’s has played us tough and has been the second best team in the WCC for nearly two decades. If you don’t get a little extra excited when we play them, if you didn’t want to beat Samhan a little more than what is healthy, I’m not sure you are a GU fan.

UW. This is where Zags get to say it isn’t a rivalry if one side only wins once a decade, but then wears their lucky underwear, carries a rabbit foot, plucks an eyelash, tosses some salt, circles around a black cat to avoid its path, knocks on wood after commenting on the game ... that’s a rivalry. Plus, historically, there is bad blood here.

Then, Arizona for west coast dominance this decade plus them kicking our rears lately and past tournament matchup.

And then maybe BYU #4 for thinking they’d dominate the WCC, for Jemmering us out of the tournament, and for dirty play.

Losing to any of those four teams hurts a little or maybe a lot more than it should. At least to me.

I agree with these choices.

jazzdelmar
12-10-2017, 11:10 AM
Sure...but BYU has won the last 3 in the Kennel......

Don’t be so parochial, Bart.

gueastcoast
12-10-2017, 11:54 AM
St. Mary's. Someone has to play Sham to our Secretariat.

DixieZag
12-10-2017, 02:18 PM
Very difficult question.

Hard to have a rivalry outside of conference, don't people think? But, it is nice to often hear that Gonzaga and Arizona are always battling for "Best in the West" even if we haven't often beat them out of that title.

In the conference front, I feel like we've accomplished the most when we beat SMC, and though I damn sure respect that Randy turned that program from "Worst in Division One" to "Annual Top 50 in difficult situation," I simply can't respect him as anywhere near our stature when he won't take his kids out for a ride to play an ACC team or Big 12 team in a huge OOC game, really let them measure-up. (I think they'd measure up very favorably).

BYU keeps beating us at home, even over the period in which we've had our greatest successes, and yet we beat them at their place, and I absolutely dread each game with them b/c I know what our guys are experiencing off the ball underneath. One really has to watch a BYU game live - as I've been given the chance to do - versus other teams to just appreciate how "different" the whole game feels. Like a knife fight from start to end, and when we win I'm relieved as much as happy.

Really difficult. If the UW gets good again, that's a natural.

TexasZagFan
12-10-2017, 07:34 PM
Very difficult question.

Hard to have a rivalry outside of conference, don't people think? But, it is nice to often hear that Gonzaga and Arizona are always battling for "Best in the West" even if we haven't often beat them out of that title.

In the conference front, I feel like we've accomplished the most when we beat SMC, and though I damn sure respect that Randy turned that program from "Worst in Division One" to "Annual Top 50 in difficult situation," I simply can't respect him as anywhere near our stature when he won't take his kids out for a ride to play an ACC team or Big 12 team in a huge OOC game, really let them measure-up. (I think they'd measure up very favorably).

BYU keeps beating us at home, even over the period in which we've had our greatest successes, and yet we beat them at their place, and I absolutely dread each game with them b/c I know what our guys are experiencing off the ball underneath. One really has to watch a BYU game live - as I've been given the chance to do - versus other teams to just appreciate how "different" the whole game feels. Like a knife fight from start to end, and when we win I'm relieved as much as happy.

Really difficult. If the UW gets good again, that's a natural.

The UTEP-BYU games in El Paso were always the hottest ticket in town. I've come out of those games with my ears ringing an hour after the game.

Will NEVER forget this game, triple OT, fast forward to 12:15.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ygOC6i-ctQ

I saw what precipitated the fight. BYU player threw a cheap shot elbow at Luster (Pony) Goodwin's (#10) mouth. Pony had just had braces put in. Kent Lockhart (#25) saw it, and went nuts. The teammate who eventually pulled Kent away from the pile was Juden Smith, a real badass who had one of the quickest and powerful first steps I'd seen to that point.


The famous fight was a big part of this intense rivalry between two longtime WAC foes. When BYU's Scott Sinek and UTEP's Luster Goodwin tangled, Miner teammate Kent Lockhart started throwing round house punches at everyone , and almost decked Coach Haskins. The Miners survived this back and forth game in triple overtime, and every fan in attendance (myself included) called this game one of the greatest ever played at the DHC.

We had seats in the 18th row behind the basket. Bedlam, 12,222 UTEP fans screaming their lungs out. It was like a couple of 747s were testing their engines in there.

ETA: My wife and I and a couple of friends formed an informal "Kent's Klub", wearing shirts with his # and photo. We were a big hit in Albuquerque when we went to the Pit for UTEP-UNM games. lol

ZionZag
12-10-2017, 08:01 PM
Who is(are) our rival(s)?

I sometime think it's the game announcers....

Alum08
12-10-2017, 09:29 PM
Whichever team Omar Samhan is playing for today.

TravelinZag
12-10-2017, 10:08 PM
The WWC, and not just the schedulers. Their “thanks for the cash, but we’ll continue to treat you poorly whenever possible” attitude compounds the unwillingness of half the schools to build programs and facilities worthy of D-1 competition. Its tiresome and frustrating.

Ultimately, the NCAA, which seems determined to kill their golden goose by favoring top-eight finishers in major conferences with mediocre records above meritorious mid-majors for dance tickets. If they could do so, they would do for basketball what they have done for football (see pre-seeds for football bowls). This should be a thread on it’s own, but give it some thought. Whatever problems change presents should none the less be better than current perpetual mismatches between the upper and lower halves of 351 teams fielding basketball teams. And for those who love intercollegiate basketball, a rational leveling of the playing field for all. Pre-conference games where elite programs buy home games against hopelessly overmatched schools are a farce.

Two modest proposals: 1. Ban teams which have performance rankings below 200 from participating in the NCAA tournament until their performance improves (including those with miserable records who win their conference tourneys); and 2. Select weak conferences to compete with each other in a sort of D1a league ending with the NIT tournament, and restrict remaining D-1 teams to only one game per year against the new lower league.

Steps in these directions would be better for the sport, and improve competition for all. Lot of details to resolve, but the results would be better for both levels, and sharply limit D-1 schools using uncompetitive schools as fodder for their early season tuneups in “buy” games. Two levels works fine for football, why not for basketball, as long as the divisions are based on performance not just conference affiliation.

Just some thoughts. Would be interested in yours.

mgadfly
12-10-2017, 11:29 PM
Two modest proposals: 1. Ban teams which have performance rankings below 200 from participating in the NCAA tournament until their performance improves (including those with miserable records who win their conference tourneys); and 2. Select weak conferences to compete with each other in a sort of D1a league ending with the NIT tournament, and restrict remaining D-1 teams to only one game per year against the new lower league.

Steps in these directions would be better for the sport, and improve competition for all. Lot of details to resolve, but the results would be better for both levels, and sharply limit D-1 schools using uncompetitive schools as fodder for their early season tuneups in “buy” games. Two levels works fine for football, why not for basketball, as long as the divisions are based on performance not just conference affiliation.

Just some thoughts. Would be interested in yours.

In order to help the have-nots compete with the haves, we will ban the little guys from the one source of enough cash to keep their programs alive? If this had been the model, GU Hoops would have never happened. They wouldn't have been allowed the chance to even compete in the dance. There never would have been Cinderella. They never would have turned into a power basketball program. What makes college basketball great is the big guy vs little guy dynamic. At some point, the big guys have to prove it on the court. Why we'd get rid of all the teams not in the Power 6 conferences (which is what would really happen if we start moving teams to D1A) and turn it into College Football is beyond me.

All Weather Fan
12-11-2017, 01:14 AM
I think true rivals in basketball almost have to be in the same conference. Teams you play every year with the result of those games meaning much more than some sort of bragging rights among fans. Thus, Saint Marys #1, BYU # 2. I love beating UW, especially at their place, so they may well be #3 because of the in state thing.

bartruff1
12-11-2017, 01:16 AM
Don’t be so parochial, Bart.

I went to their schools...

CDC84
12-11-2017, 01:33 AM
Washington State should've been included, even though GU is not currently playing them

zagdontzig
12-11-2017, 07:58 AM
Washington State should've been included, even though GU is not currently playing them

Crap, sorry.

CDC84
12-11-2017, 08:20 AM
That's okay. It's just that several folks on this board wish GU would have stuck with WSU, which is one of the longest lasting series in the history of college basketball, and not resume the UW series (or least not renew it until they start becoming a top 4 Pac 12 team again).

zagdontzig
12-11-2017, 08:22 AM
One really has to watch a BYU game live - as I've been given the chance to do - versus other teams to just appreciate how "different" the whole game feels. Like a knife fight from start to end, and when we win I'm relieved as much as happy.



For this reason, I would be happy if we never played them again. Not because I care whether they hang wins at the Kennel (which I do hope we clean up immediately), but because I know it's only a matter of time before more hooked elbows and undercuts result in a major injury. Just don't like how every opponent becomes their sworn enemy.

seacatfan
12-11-2017, 10:43 AM
I think true rivals in basketball almost have to be in the same conference. Teams you play every year with the result of those games meaning much more than some sort of bragging rights among fans. Thus, Saint Marys #1, BYU # 2. I love beating UW, especially at their place, so they may well be #3 because of the in state thing.

Kentucky-Louisville and Kentucky-Indiana were hotly contested, bitter rivalries for years that were not in the same conference. Or how about the most hotly contested rivalry of all (nearly a yearly altercation or near-altercation between the teams) Xavier-Cincinnati. I think playing regularly and having geographical relevance can more than make up for not being conference foes. But back to the topic I don't think GU against anybody really fits compared to those other rivalries I mentioned.

rennis
12-11-2017, 11:23 AM
It's a shame that Santa Clara and Portland aren't real options.

ZionZag
12-11-2017, 05:43 PM
'One really has to watch a BYU game live'

You're exactly correct Dixie.........I've been fortunate enough to have had some of the best seats in the house at the Marriott Center and after seeing it live.......I refuse to go to Provo anymore! It really tests my patience to see the immature infantile conduct by older BYU alums when I go to Las Vegas for the tourney. I don't understand...what I've seen is equal to a 3 year old anger tantrum, or worse...

509er
12-12-2017, 05:46 AM
Very difficult question.

Hard to have a rivalry outside of conference, don't people think? But, it is nice to often hear that Gonzaga and Arizona are always battling for "Best in the West" even if we haven't often beat them out of that title.

In the conference front, I feel like we've accomplished the most when we beat SMC, and though I damn sure respect that Randy turned that program from "Worst in Division One" to "Annual Top 50 in difficult situation," I simply can't respect him as anywhere near our stature when he won't take his kids out for a ride to play an ACC team or Big 12 team in a huge OOC game, really let them measure-up. (I think they'd measure up very favorably).

BYU keeps beating us at home, even over the period in which we've had our greatest successes, and yet we beat them at their place, and I absolutely dread each game with them b/c I know what our guys are experiencing off the ball underneath. One really has to watch a BYU game live - as I've been given the chance to do - versus other teams to just appreciate how "different" the whole game feels. Like a knife fight from start to end, and when we win I'm relieved as much as happy.

Really difficult. If the UW gets good again, that's a natural.

Xavier and Cinci is a pretty good non-conference rivalry. BYU and Utah before they pulled the plug as well.

I think if the fans at BOTH schools get extremely "juiced" for the game it fits the definition. For instance, I don't think Arizona fans will get as excited about playing GU as GU will be excited to play them. I think SMC, BYU, uw and to a lesser degree WSU are probably the closest I've seen to fitting that definition.

zagdontzig
12-12-2017, 06:07 AM
Xavier and Cinci is a pretty good non-conference rivalry. BYU and Utah before they pulled the plug as well.

I think if the fans at BOTH schools get extremely "juiced" for the game it fits the definition. For instance, I don't think Arizona fans will get as excited about playing GU as GU will be excited to play them. I think SMC, BYU, uw and to a lesser degree WSU are probably the closest I've seen to fitting that definition.

I'm not a fan of the vinegar-veined rivalries like Xavier/Cinci. I can't enjoy them, and are relieved when they are over. Utah/BYU the same, or anyone BYU thinks is their rival for that matter.

Utah/BYU is back on though, starting this weekend at BYU.

TheGonzagaFactor
12-12-2017, 06:29 AM
Zags don't have a true rival.

Potential rivals:
Washington if they were relevant
WSU if they were relevant
Arizona if we played every year and series was close for several years


The SMC "rivalry" feels so forced, it just gets SMC mentioned in the same sentence as GU which they do not deserve.

I think it wasn't a rivalry until ESPN forced it and marketed it as one, making people think "hmmm, I must have missed something, but I guess they are our rival??"

Many Zag fans root for SMC and like them. I saw a frequent poster here say he was "proud" of them for how they got handled by Arizona. They are not a rival.

zaguarxj
12-12-2017, 09:13 AM
The field.

My first thought as well.

bigblahla
12-12-2017, 09:25 AM
The SMC "rivalry" feels so forced, it just gets SMC mentioned in the same sentence as GU which they do not deserve. I think it wasn't a rivalry until ESPN forced it and marketed it as one They are not a rival.

Sorry for the chop job on your post. SMC is not a rival as much as they want to be. Gollum's record is like 9 wins and 40 losses, a little over 20 % that's not a rivalry, that's an annual beating...I'll go with Jazz on this one....the field..

Go!! Zags!!!

RenoZag
12-12-2017, 11:21 AM
SMC has been GU's primary competition for the WCC regular season and tournament titles for a very long time. GU's lopsided winning record against the Gaels doesn't alter the rivalry. It's not Duke vs. UNC, but it's all we've got.

Dorsai62
12-12-2017, 01:58 PM
Kentucky-Louisville and Kentucky-Indiana were hotly contested, bitter rivalries for years that were not in the same conference. Or how about the most hotly contested rivalry of all (nearly a yearly altercation or near-altercation between the teams) Xavier-Cincinnati. I think playing regularly and having geographical relevance can more than make up for not being conference foes. But back to the topic I don't think GU against anybody really fits compared to those other rivalries I mentioned.

In the stone age of Bulldog Basketball Gonzaga played four games with Seattle U and Portland Pilots. 2 each home and home Rivalry was stiff. All three were independents at that time. Against Seattle U we split the series 2 and 2 and all four were decided by 20 points or more. Frank Burgess was THE MAN and he didn"t have the option of 3 pointers unless it was "and one" Those games were always intense.

BayAreaZagFan
12-12-2017, 02:59 PM
We are St. Mary's rival, but they are not ours. Mostly because I refuse to give them that much respect. In truth, they probably are the closest thing we've got to a rival.

My opinion is tainted because I started hating St. Mary's because of Samhan and it has continued to this day, mainly due to the coach and a few of the other players. Add to that, I live in the Bay Area and, although it's tough to find them, the fans of St. Mary's have totally bought into the "rivalry" and are convinced that they are just as good, if not better, than the Zags. It's been "their year" for at least the last ten years or so now. They don't get much write-up in the local paper, but what they do get, tends to be a little generous in terms of what is actually happening. I remember one article right after St. Mary's put up back-to-back wins over the Zags (before falling to them in the WCC tournament) proclaimed "the torch had been passed" and St. Mary's was now taking their place as the "cream of the WCC".

I do go along with the notion that everyone is our rival, at least to them. We have been blessed to see very few Gonzaga losses over the last 20 years, but it seems like a majority of them have ended in the opposing teams' fans storming the court. We're the biggest game of the season for most of them by far.

TexasZagFan
12-12-2017, 03:38 PM
I remember one article right after St. Mary's put up back-to-back wins over the Zags (before falling to them in the WCC tournament) proclaimed "the torch had been passed" and St. Mary's was now taking their place as the "cream of the WCC".

https://cdn3.glstock.com/29606/809940/809940_325.jpg

scrooner
12-12-2017, 03:43 PM
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1551723-ranking-the-10-greatest-mid-major-teams-in-ncaa-basketball-history

tinfoilzag
12-12-2017, 03:44 PM
GU vs Power 5 schools.

The narrative will always be some twist on David vs Goliath even though David has grown 8" and put on 40 lbs. of muscle.

thebigsmoove
12-12-2017, 05:21 PM
In state UW. In Conference Saint Mary's. There are no bigger games for our fans or the students on our schedule.

thebigsmoove
12-12-2017, 05:23 PM
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1551723-ranking-the-10-greatest-mid-major-teams-in-ncaa-basketball-history

If we were to re rank this list now 2017 Gonzaga has got to fall somewhere near 2 or 3 right there with Indiana St.

Mojo13
12-13-2017, 09:43 AM
A true rivalry is a two way street in my books. Can't be rivals with someone who doesn't notice you.
GU wouldn't make a top 10 list for Arizona fans, thus St. Mary's is the true rival. Not enough history with BYU yet. Might not be an perfectly even rivalry (they rarely are) with St. Mary's, but GU is clearly their main antagonist and there is enough reciprocal history, animosity, competitiveness with GU to make it #1.

SteelCityZag
12-13-2017, 10:23 AM
A great rivalry does need to share something...gotta have some turf to fight over. It could be conference, it could be geography. That's why Cincy-Xavier works, and also why Duke-Carolina works. And it just IS better if both teams knock each other down once in a while.

Before a decade and a half ago, I just wanted GU to beat UW so much. It meant more to me then than it does now because they've all but conceded that we are dominant. If they can continue to build into relevancy, it has the makings of a great rivalry. (just listen to Ammo's comments on the radio broadcast of the last game).

In conference, I remember when Pepperdine was the team we needed to beat. SCU was also a flavor of the month. But again, until BYU or SMC can consistently beat us in meaningful games (Senior nights don't count), then we are without a true rival. Love it to be BYU tho. Hopefully someday.

kitzbuel
12-13-2017, 02:07 PM
Out of curiosity, who are the rivals of UW or Arizona? I can't think of any major West Coast rivalries that stand out outside of maybe BYU/Utah. SDSU/UNLV?

seacatfan
12-13-2017, 03:05 PM
Out of curiosity, who are the rivals of UW or Arizona? I can't think of any major West Coast rivalries that stand out outside of maybe BYU/Utah. SDSU/UNLV?

Arizona's main rival is UCLA. Bruin fans try to claim it really isn't a rivalry, but I don't buy that one bit. The UCLA team sure looks motivated to play every time they face UA. Stanford was good during Monty's run, Oregon has been good a few years here and there, UW had a few good years w/ Romar, but for the most of the last 25 or 30 years it's been UCLA and Arizona battling it out in the Pac.

Arizona of course has an intense hatred for ASU and vice versa. That one has mostly been lopsided, outside of the James Harden years, so not sure if you would consider it a classic rivalry. But it's in state, in conference and they sincerely do not like each other.

Not sure about UW. They've got the same cross state/in conference thing w/ Wazzu, but I think most UW people look down on WSU as their insignificant younger sibling who isn't really worth paying attention to. The Apple Cup is pretty good in football, but not sure that it spills over onto the basketball court so much. UW and Oregon despise each other, any sport, doesn't matter, they want to destroy the other one. I think that started w/ football 20 years ago or so but it has gone across the board now.

Once and Future Zag
12-13-2017, 04:35 PM
St. Mary’s has played us tough and has been the second best team in the WCC for nearly two decades. If you don’t get a little extra excited when we play them, if you didn’t want to beat Samhan a little more than what is healthy, I’m not sure you are a GU fan.


Foster blocking Samhan's shot (and Samhan himself) all the way down is one of my favorite moments.

zagdontzig
12-13-2017, 10:53 PM
In state UW. In Conference Saint Mary's. There are no bigger games for our fans or the students on our schedule.

CDC84 pointed out I missed Wazzou. He added it to the poll but it was after most the polling had occurred. I'd say Wazzou competes with UW for in state honors. I think UW is more prominent because of Romar's shenanigans.